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The Wreck of the Mary Deare

The Wreck of the Mary Deare is a novel written by British author Hammond Innes and later a movie starring Gary Cooper. It tells the story of the titular ship, which is found adrift at sea by John Sands. Sands boards it hoping to claim it for salvage, but finds the first officer, Gideon Patch, still aboard and trying to run the ship on his own. Patch convinces Sands to help him wreck the ship, even though it will void his salvage claim. When they return to London, Patch is brought before a board of inquiry to determine what happened. It soon becomes apparent that the ship owners were planning to wreck the Mary Deare all along and have Patch the fall guy.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The novel was optioned by MGM with the intention of having Alfred Hitchcock direct and Cooper star. Hitchcock had long wanted to work with Cooper, but after developing the script with Ernest Lehman for several weeks, they concluded that it couldn't be done without turning the movie into "a boring courtroom drama." They abandoned the idea and started a new story which eventually became North by Northwest.

The task of adapting the novel then passed to Eric Ambler. Another noted British director, Michael Anderson of The Dam Busters fame, took over for Hitchcock. The cast included Cooper as Patch, and Charlton Heston as Sands, with Richard Harris and Michael Redgrave in supporting roles.

Critics generally agree that the finished film matches Hitchcock and Lehman's prediction.

See also

"The Wreck of the Mary Deare" at imbd


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